My friend Jana and I are starting a weekly bible study on the book of Esther. We were surprised to discover today, as we read the lenghthly but helpful introduction in the study guide, that some Christians through the ages have felt strongly that Esther should not be included in the bible. Among these individuals is Martin Luther, who actually has some pretty shocking things to say about his viewpoint on both Esther and the Jewish people as a whole. I decided to do some research and here are some quotes I found from:
“They are the real liars and bloodhounds, who have not only perverted and falsified the entire Scriptures from beginning to end and without ceasing with their interpretations. And all of the anxious sighing, longing and hoping of their hearts is directed to the time when some day they would like to deal with us heathen as they dealt with the heathen in Persia at the time of Esther. Oh how they love the book of Esther, which so nicely agrees with their bloodthirsty, revengeful and murderous desire and hope.”
“The sun never did shine on a more bloodthirsty and revengeful people as they, who imagine to be the people of God, and who desire to and think they must murder and crush the heathen. And the foremost undertaking which they expect of their Messiah is that he should slay and murder the whole world with the sword. As they at first demonstrated against us Christians and would like to do now, if they only could; have also tried it often and have been repeatedly struck on their snouts.”
Well, I am surprised by these words but must do some more exstensive research to find out more information. Does anyone else know Luther’s beliefs concerning this matter? I can imagine that one matter which likely would have bothered Luther concerning Esther is that throughout the entire book, there is no mention of God or prayer and therefore no formal acknowledgement of His work in all the amazing events that transpire in the story to bring safety and deliverance to the Jews. What to think, what to think….